Environmental Population Spring 2011

Is your environment making you fat?

Are environmental chemicals making you fat?

During the last three decades obesity has become an epidemic problem in western, industrialised countries and continues to rise in the developing world. It is a major risk factor in heart disease and diabetes, which are known to reduce quality of life and increase medical costs. At the same time there has been an unprecedented rise the production and use of synthetic organic and inorganic chemicals.

So is it overeating that is really making you fat?

There has never been so much information about weight loss diets or advertising about low fat –low sugar- low calorie foods. The supplement market for slimming aids has never been so successful. In fact, according to the Dept for Environment, Food and Rural Affaires the daily caloric consumption has declined.

Maybe it is modern, sedentary lifestyle that is causing obesity?

Yet, opportunities for exercise for all ages and abilities have never been so good. A report by Sport England noted that participation is increasing across all age bands in all social groups.

So could environmental chemicals responsible?

It is possibly no coincidence that the unprecedented rise of environmental chemicals correlates with the obesity epidemic. Daily exposure to thousands of chemicals in food, water, domestic products, cosmetics, medicines, solvents, plastics and industrial products overload the body with toxins which are stored in fat cells. Although individual chemicals may be harmless, the cumulative effect of thousands of chemicals will inevitably affect metabolism and the weight controlling mechanisms within the body.

This is probably even more relevant before and during pregnancy, and the early years of life. The exposure of chemicals on developing systems could be a major cause of obesity in the future.

We have to acknowledge that we live in a toxic world and it is impossible for the individual to totally eliminate exposure, however, awareness and individual choices can help to reduce your toxin exposure.

How can you reduce your chemical exposure?

  • Choose locally farmed organic food products that are free from pesticides
  • Choose natural unprocessed food free from preservatives.
  • Choose natural chemical free alternatives to kill unwanted animal life such as flies, fleas and head lice.
  • Choose wild not farmed fish.
  • Always filter or distil tap water before drinking.
  • Buy water in glass bottle rather than a plastic.
  • Use environmentally friendly household cleaning products.
  • Use natural cosmetics, toiletries and hair products.
  • Choose alternatives to plastic for storage & micro-waving.
  • Keep house plants in your home or office to absorb a lot of air born pollutants.

Remember that the more chemical toxins that you are exposed to – the more anti oxidants and fibre are required for metabolism and elimination.

Otherwise – chemicals will be stored around your middle!